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Thanks to readers on our 125th anniversary

Grover Cleveland was in the White House when The Daily Record debuted in Maryland 125 years ago today. “Devoted to law, real estate and finance,” it cost 2 cents and was the start of a publishing phenomenon.

Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record and Chris Eddings, vice president of the Business Information Division of The Dolan Company and president of The Daily Record.

Edwin Warfield founded The Daily Record at the age of 35 and soon after turned over operations of the newspaper to his brother, John. Along with other professional accomplishments, Edwin went on to serve as Maryland governor from 1904 to 1908.

Three more members of the Warfield family led The Daily Record over the next 106 years, Edwin Warfield Jr., Edwin Warfield III and Edwin Warfield IV. In 1994, the Warfield family sold The Daily Record to Jim Dolan, chairman, president and CEO of The Dolan Company, which owns the news operation today.

The original building housing the offices of The Daily Record at 124 E. Fayette St. was reduced to ashes in the Great Fire of 1904, but The Daily Record never missed publishing an issue. Temporary offices were rented on St. Paul Street until the current location at 11-15 E. Saratoga St. was purchased in 1916. Ninety-seven years later, we remain in the same building and have reported on commerce, the economy, industry, business and law as Baltimore and Maryland have grown, changed and developed through the years.

On the fourth floor of our offices, more than a century of news is housed in bound books. It is humbling to know how many staffers have worked together to keep Marylanders informed and to create a record of history. We would be nothing without our dedicated, creative and hard-working staff, and it is an honor to lead one of Maryland’s oldest and most respected publications.

Last year, Fred Godman retired after working at The Daily Record for 68 years, starting as a paper boy in 1944. Currently, we have seven staff members who have been with us for more than 30 years and eight for more than 15 years. These colleagues are The Daily Record, and without them we would not be successful.

As a court and commercial newspaper, publishing public notice advertising is core to the mission of The Daily Record. The significance of this advertising cannot be overstated, even today. Legal advertising in newspapers helps to assure due process and further transparency by providing public notification, fundamental to a democratic government.

Lawyers and business people faithfully open the paper each day to read opinions by state and federal courts, learn about government changes that could affect their businesses, understand economic trends and stay abreast of the news of the day. Professors tell law and MBA students, “It is a must-read.”

The Daily Record has evolved over the years to include events that have recognized more than 3,100 successful, community-minded leaders. The Daily Record’s first event, Maryland’s Top 100 Women, will turn 19 next year, and Leadership in Law will turn 15. Our job is not only to provide news and information, but also to recognize influential leaders across the state. Through our events and special products, we can introduce the next generation of leaders and bring them together with those who paved the way before them.

To celebrate The Daily Record’s 125th anniversary, we decided to say thank you in an out-of-the-ordinary way. There is no party or champagne toast. Instead, our staff determined to give back to some of the communities and organizations that make Maryland a better place in which to live and work.

At the start of this year, our team made a commitment to donate 125 hours of community service to four nonprofits selected by an internal vote. The nonprofits were: Hampden Family Center, Blue Water Baltimore, Sarah’s Hope and Maryland SPCA. We not only reached our goal, but also surpassed it by donating 220 hours of community service and we are making cash donations of $5,000 to these outstanding organizations.

We would like to challenge your organization to consider giving back to celebrate your anniversaries in the future. As business leaders, our responsibility must be to challenge our staff members to give their time, talent and treasure to nonprofits that align with their belief systems.

Over the past 125 years, the world, the nation, our state and The Daily Record have changed repeatedly and routinely. So, too, in the next century will the world change yet again. We cannot know precisely what form The Daily Record will take in 2100, as those in Grover Cleveland’s day could not have anticipated that today so many of our readers would connect with us online. We can promise that we will continue to be a source readers can rely on and will provide business and legal news in whatever way subscribers want to be reached.

Then, as today, The Daily Record will be known for providing accurate, timely and insightful news.

Many thanks to you, our loyal readers, for your support during our first 125 years. We look forward to being your source of business and legal news for the next 125 years.

Chris Eddings is vice president of the Business Information Division of The Dolan Company and president of The Daily Record. Suzanne Fischer-Huettner is publisher of The Daily Record.